Last year, rumors of the iPhone 13 getting satellite connectivity started spreading. While this iPhone didn’t get the feature, rumor has it that the upcoming iPhone 14 may have it for emergencies or for sending short texts to emergency contacts when they’re out of cell service range.
Now, according to a new report from BloombergAccording to Mark Gurman, the next Apple Watch could also have this additional technology.
In his To light up newsletterthe reporter says “the Apple Watch is also destined to get this feature”, although Gurman thinks Apple’s timeline could be this year or 2023.
Whether on the iPhone or Apple Watch, the technology would offer an alternative to the Garmin inReach Explorer and SPOT, handheld satellite communicators with similar functionality.
There have been signs recently that Apple and its apparent satellite partner Globalstar Inc. may be getting closer to launching such a feature. In February, Globalstar said it had reached an agreement to purchase 17 new satellites to power “continuous satellite services” for a “potential” – and unnamed – customer who had paid it hundreds of millions of dollars.
Given that rumors indicate that Apple may be aiming for three new Apple Watches this year – the standard model, a new SE and an all-new extreme sports watch – it would make sense that at least the standard model and the rugged Apple Watch both get this feature.
Last year, Gurman already doubted the launch of satellite communication with the iPhone 13, saying that the hardware was not yet ready for the new phones. Now, even if this feature launches this year, it will likely be limited to key markets. Here is what he wrote in August 2021:
Emergency features will only work in areas without cellular coverage and only in certain markets. Apple plans to eventually deploy its own network of satellites to beam data to devices, but that plan is likely years away from takeoff.
Do you think this could be the next big Apple Watch feature? You can read our full roundup of what to expect from the Apple Watch Series 8 here. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below.